By Ryan Falla
Self-described as “Turbopolka”, Russian metal band Russkaja delivers fantastic genre innovation with the record ‘Kosmopoliturbo’. Though you might recognize their sound falling within the ska/polka territories, Russkaja does so much to innovate ska/polka; by the time they’re done, what they do can only described as Russkaja. One of the crowning points of this record is its mission to match the political philosophy of globalism with their music, a strange but ultimately satisfying mission to embark on with ‘Kosmopoliturbo’.
This record has a phenomenal energy within, every song is highly energetic and inspiring. You’ll feel almost all of your emotions and energy stirred up into a sense of joyful excitement. The energy in this record is beyond palpable, it’s penetrating. Energy is one of the most important elements for a musician to harness, and with ‘Kosmopoliturbo’ you’ll feel your spirit bursting through the seams of your body. It’s absolutely infectious.
The songwriting on this album is passionately innovative as they take styles from different cultures to implement. Each track is carefully crafted to maintain the base musical personality of Russkaja while infusing it with exotic stylings. What’s impressive isn’t just the masterful songwriting, it’s the way Russkaja implements so many different, wide spanning cultural influences in their music. Russkaja kicks off the record with a strong ska track ‘Hey Road’, which falls in the vein of traditional Russian folk music. It’s one of the more standardly written songs on the record and it’s still beyond fantastic, and this is just the set for up a phenomenal record.
The cultural infusions are applied with an incredible smoothness, from the modern American musical culture to Spanish and German among many others. The American infused tracks ‘Alive’ and ‘Still in Love’ are really something else. ‘Alive’ introduces itself with a surf-rock intro that hypes up into polka/ska; but the real magic is when they flip the script and pull off multiple bass/drum styled EDM drops that reek perfectly of American culture. ‘Still In Love’ is almost tongue-in-cheek as it tackles the modern American radio rock song, it’s just too on the nose, it’s perfection. The track takes on a cheesy, emotional beach rock “radio hit” styled song, complete with auto-tuned vocals.
‘Volle Kraft Voraus’ is very traditional German folk song that carries the atmosphere of olden days tavern house. As it kicks off into a rock driven ska track, it maintains the highly energetic folky vibes throughout; and at this point ‘Kosmopoliturbo’ is beginning to transcend into cultural study territory. Especially when they dip into the styles of Mexico with ‘Mare Mare’ and ‘La Musica’; the fluency of vocalist Georgij Alexandowitsch Makazaria as he flips between multiple languages adds a strong sense of legitimacy to the cultural explorations.
If you’re curious or confused as to what exactly “turbopolka” is, then you have to go straight to the track ‘Cheburashcka’ as it’s the perfect embodiment of this self-described genre. It’s straight up high energy polka punk with rock influences, “turbopolka” really is the best way to describe this genre.
‘Kosmopoliturbo’ is one of the most innovate records I’ve heard ever, ska/rock infused with the flavor of different cultures all across the world. This record is beyond phenomenal, not only is it beautifully written but the mission of cultural infusions and the masterful execution come together to create one of the most energetic, exciting records that innovates on an almost scientific level.
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Record Label: Napalm
Release Date: August 4th 2017
01. Hey Road (3:50)
02. Alive (3:48)
03. Still In Love (2:50)
04. Hello Japan (3:27)
05. Volle Kraft Voraus (4:31)
06. Mare Mare (4:06)
07. Cheburaschka (3:56)
08. La Musica (3:30)
09. Chef De Cuisine (2:52)
10. Send You An Angel (4:26)
Total Duration: 37:16